When does not having enough followers make you MORE successful?
When I first started my Etsy vintage shop, Antiquated Daydreams, I knew I wanted to make a corresponding Instagram account to advertise. I think buying/selling secondhand clothes and other goods is a great way to curb environmental degradation and social inequality. Antiquated Daydreams was the perfect conduit for sharing cool quotes and resources about the environmental benefits of secondhand and social and environmental responsibility while advertising my vintage/upcycled clothing collection. Well, nothing was happening according to plan nor vision. But I did start learning some valuable lessons that made it all worth it.
1. Just Start
Whatever your vision or dream is, just start. Take a step in the direction you want to head, and you’d be very surprise at what doors open for you along the way. One of the benefits I’ve experienced since I started following where my heart was leading me is having clarity of my vision. Before, when I thought I had to have everything figured out before I could launch or get started, I was cooping myself up and not expressing my interests. Now that I am expressing, even a small amount, that expression is evolving.
2. Don’t Give Up Just Because You Don’t Have Overnight Success
If it’s your passion, stick with it. People can tell when something is a long-winded passion or a short-lived impulse. Something you can do if you are being discouraged by the company you started or the vibrancy of your passion is return you your “why.” Why did you start doing what you were doing? What was it that inspired you? Who is it that inspired you? Return to those things and surround yourself with them because you become what you surround yourself with.
3. Be Grateful
Search for the things you can be grateful for in your experience. For me, it is that I have discovered other social and environmental entrepreneurs. It’s also that I have been able to influence the small circle of people who have started following me or have seen the pictures/quotes that I post. That’s what I’m doing it for, and that is my “why.” Even if its just a few people–even if it’s just me that is changed it’s worth it. One of my favorite quote is by Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
So even if what you are doing isn’t making the impact you’ve dream of, don’t give up because your dream could still be realized. But also, in the meanwhile, be thankful for the people it is impacting. If it’s not impacting anyone, let it impact you, and let you be the one that is changed.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Start Just Because It’s Been Criticized or Ridiculed in the Past
Even though I had always felt lead to a certain interest/passion, I was afraid of it just because a friend had criticized it in the past. Even now they still do but what has changed is what I think about it.
The longer I have this Instagram account, the more I realize it was just a means to the end. The end has been having clarity on my vision and having knowledge of other social and environmental entrepreneurs. Good luck on all your ventures in life, work hard, and be strong.